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Presented by State Library Victoria

An Update, hey, the first Update ever!

Hello everyone, as well as the new contributors rhapsody and bookwithbane, and welcome to the first Update ever. Ooh yeah…

 

 

This month (actually that’s not fair considering we’re halfway through this one, lets just call it this month, the next and the one after it), sorry, this round of unbelievably good short stories will be…

Monster-themed! {eats child and howls}

So it can be anything you want, a romance, a very scary horror or find some way to blend myth with sci-fi (idk); the point is that you can do anything you want. And it doesn’t even have to be as long as Garden of Death, it can be really short, a few paragraphs even. It can be something like this:

 

 

 

No Candles Left

 

 

 

The sun was hanging low and the moon was finding some way to make itself seen, now that its older brother was making himself scarce. The crescent moon hung in the sky, just above the large mansion on the hill. A little girl from a farm, on a plain far, far away from this hill was struggling to walk through the tall grass, while the grass endeavored to scratch her knees with the sharp stalks.  She stopped in the middle of the field and sat down, pulling off her backpack and pulling out a lantern and a small purse. With the contents of her purse she lit the lantern and found a tie to tie it on, so she could hold it above the grass without fear of burning it. She did not put the purse back in the bag, instead pocketing for later use. She continued her trek, the moon growing more and more confident and bright as the sun began to end its shift and spread its light to another continent. The curtains of the mansion were all drawn, save one, the one window on the bottom floor had a man sitting in his chair, holding onto a mug of beer as he rocked, peering out of the window with no light to illuminate the world beyond the porch, save for a little fire, moving towards him. He sipped from his cup, quickly swallowing it all before getting off the chair to put up a wooden board in front of the window, blocking any light from escaping through the window and to stop any light coming in. The manservant lit a candle and moved up the three flights of stairs and arrived at the top floor of the mansion, knocking on a large oak door. A figure draped in black came to the door and spoke through to the manservant through the thick door.

 

‘Is she coming?’

There was a low groan, followed by a throaty ‘Yes, sir.’

 

‘Right.’ The door swung open and a cloaked figure strutted out, upright and lean. The small girl opened the front door with a creak, only to stop as the chain restricted the door from opening further. The lean figure stopped descending the stairs as he heard something shatter on the ground floor and peeked over the railing to see the small girl set in the middle of the kitchen, using a large spoon to extinguish some of the candles around the dining table. The figure got closer and closer to the table. Moving in circles around the girl as she went around, smothering the small wicks. Five lights left. The figure could smell the scent of lemon coming from the extinguished candles and it was calming, soothing even. His heart was pumping, fast and loose on an adrenaline rush. His fingers began to twitch and he began to, almost subtly, shake from the physical strain it was taking to not keel over and faint from the stress and the panic. The girl, however, was the picture of calmness and serenity. Four candles left. The figure spoke, the words quiet and broken, as if he was losing his voice.

“Why have you come here?” The girl didn’t look up to face him, didn’t meet his cold, green eyes and didn’t stop moving, ignoring the question.

“Is it me? Have I done something?” Again, his please received no response. The girl kept walking, and kept wafting the scent of lemon and peaches into the air. Three candles left.

“There are others like me out there you know. Others who deserve your full wrath. If I was not so humble, I would say that I don’t deserve it. Not now, not in this place. There are other, more suitable arenas. So please, take your business elsewhere, for I want no part of it.” Her head tilted sideways and the man straightened. Still moving, she reached across the wide table and picked up a fork. The fork was elegant and silver, there were lines of ivory wrapping around the fork, intertwining at the base, where a glass dragon had its mouth opened in a mighty roar. She threw it on the table and the figure hunched its back, instinctively turning away from her in cowardice. Two candles left. She looked at him now, met his eyes as they kept walking around each other. The next candle was closer than the other had been. After that, it was the one candle in the center of the large, rectangular table. He looked at it and she did too, as she put the spoon over the last candle. One candle left.

“You know, I really didn’t want to do this.”

She was stalling for some reason. The man knew that she could reach over and let the fire go out. Then they would be in pitch-black darkness and no-one would be able to see. Well, save her.

“But there is a rule, somewhere, in some dusty book that makes me sneeze. Somewhere it is written that once every month, on a date of my choosing, someone must die. Eating whole villages ruins the appetite. One time, you’re just doing your thing, plunging your teeth into someone’s neck, and a mob chases after you with pitchforks. It’s just self-defense. Angry people are the tastiest though. And the book is probably open to interpretation. So, you eat and you eat until there is no-one left. That’s why I’m doing this. Going around to criminals houses at night, eating their sole inhabitants and running before anyone can pin me for a vampire. It’s much more economic. And besides,” she gestures around the table with one hand while reaching for the candle, “no one’s here to stop me looting all this stuff.” No candles left. The man gives out a low scream as the sound of footsteps can be heard, coming from the table. He pleads and then he dies.

 

2 comments

chaos

Hmm, it's near the end of November already. Do you have plans for continuing short story themes? I'd like to try contributing, if that's still a thing.

25th Nov, 18
damnedmonkey

I do, I just didn't post for a while because I was doing short stories elsewhere, but you're welcome to participate if you want.

Edit:

Oh, sorry, forgot, but the theme (keeping with the Xmas spirit) is winter. So you can write about a snowy mountain, about something that happens within winter or the aftermath of a winter, wherever the theme takes you.

25th Nov, 18